REMEMBERING FORMER ARIZONA AD DAVE STRACK
Arizona athletics lost another friend last Saturday with the passing of former Director of Athletics Dave Strack, who served as AD from 1972-82. Dave was a forward-thinking administrator, who did a lot for the University of Arizona and its athletics department.
During his tenure at Arizona, Dave hired the first African-American head men's basketball coach at a major university when he appointed Fred Snowden to lead the program in 1972. He oversaw the opening of the McKale Memorial Center in February of 1973. Dave was also instrumental in Arizona’s transition from the WAC to the Pac-10 in 1978.
Our condolences go out to his family and friends.
ENJOY THE RIDE
Our men’s basketball program has now been ranked No. 1 for two months and I can feel the excitement around Tucson, every time I step foot on campus and especially in the McKale Center. Our team has done a great job of handling all the different elements that come with being the nation’s top-ranked team, while staying focused and playing with intensity each game. They’ve embraced the position, but have made it perfectly clear what their goals are and what they need to do to reach those goals. While the coaching staff and team are focused on the process, I want to encourage everyone to enjoy the ride. It isn’t every day that one of your teams is considered the best in the nation. It’s pretty special.
While we all should enjoy the present, we’re also looking towards the future. We want to do everything we can to ensure that Arizona athletics is one of the top 10 athletic departments in the country, which will allow all of our teams to compete on the national stage. That’s why we built the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, to help our football program compete at a high level, which will have a positive influence on our other programs. And, that is why we’re working to execute the McKale renovation plan.
One aspect of the plan has already been delivered in McKale’s new scoreboard. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on the scoreboard and we think it makes the McKale environment that much better. We want to continue with these improvements, and while a lot of them benefit our student-athletes, they are also being done to benefit the fans, both in improving the aesthetics of the building but also increasing its functionality. We’ll have all new seating and the addition of hand rails for safety. In addition, if fundraising continues to go well, we expect to improve amenities around the upper concourse, which are likely to include concessions and restrooms. We believe that all of these items will help improve your experience when you step foot in McKale.
As you’ve heard me say, this is a team effort. From those in the department to the fans, we can’t have the type of success we strive for without everyone doing their part. We specifically want to thank everyone that has directly supported athletics and these projects through their generosity. We’re not there yet, but we’re working on some different initiatives that can help us get there and we’ll notify you about ways you can get involved moving forward.
But for now, it’s a great time to be a Wildcat so let’s all enjoy it.
OKG DAY (AND NIGHT) IS NEXT WEEK
Time sure does move fast during the academic year. It seems like just yesterday we were in Shreveport, La. accepting the humongous AdvoCare V100 Bowl trophy. Now, we’re approaching National Signing Day, or as we call it around here, OKG Day for Our Kind of Guys. Wednesday, Feb. 5 will be an exciting day across the country for high school recruits and their families as we welcome the newest group of Wildcats into the family. I know our coaches are equally excited to welcome those young men into the program.
In talking with the staff, I know they’re really happy with how things have gone in recruiting over the last year and I think we’ll see that play out as reviews of this class circulate. Much like the rest of the program, momentum in recruiting is a major factor and we have it right now. The team has built a strong foundation on the field under Coach Rodriguez, we’ve introduced the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, which is a major factor in recruiting, and we’re seeing the benefits of those areas in the type of player and person we’re attracting to our campus.
I’m extremely happy with the direction of our football program and we want to keep that momentum going, starting on signing day. You can share in the day a couple of ways. First, we’ll produce an online video show, #AZOKGDay, hosted by Director of On-Campus Recruiting Matt Dudek. Each 2014 football signee will be announced live on this show as their fax is received. The show will also feature live interviews with assistant coaches, student-athletes, and of course Coach Rodriguez. You can watch it live on ArizonaWildcats.com from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Later that day, the “Night of OKGs” will be held in the Sands Club. Coach Rodriguez will introduce each signee with a video presentation and answer questions from the fans. A variety of food and beverage options are included with admission. Our ticket sales staff will also be there to assist those who want to take a closer look at available club seats and other season ticket information. Tickets for the “Night of OKGs” are $10 for Wildcat Club members or football season ticket holders and $20 for general public (or for day of event sales). Click here for more information or call 520-621-CATS (2287).
I hope to see you there!
MEET THE 2014 BASEBALL TEAM
Make your plans to be at Hi Corbett Field this Saturday as Andy Lopez hosts the annual baseball“Meet the Team” scrimmage. Parking and admission are free. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the Red/Blue scrimmage starts at 12 p.m. followed by a postgame autograph session on the field. In the spirit of our football gameday fan experience contest, we’ll be giving several fans the chance to win a unique experience at this event, such as throwing out the first pitch, helping coach first base for an inning, hanging out with Coach Lopez in the dugout for an inning and more. Click here for details.
Our Ticket Sales staff will be on hand to assist those looking to buy season tickets. If you look around the Pac-12, you’ll be hard pressed to find another school offering a better value with baseball season tickets. For only $115, you can purchase season tickets to all 38 home games, that’s about $3 per game. There are a lot of quality opponents (five from the USA Today’s Top 25) coming to Hi Corbett this year including our rivals from up north, the CWS runner up Mississippi State and the defending CWS champion UCLA. Order your tickets at Saturday’s “Meet the Team” event or buy now by clicking here. The season starts Feb. 14 vs. Kent State at Hi Corbett Field.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL BUS TRIP
The women’s basketball team will be traveling to Tempe to take on our rivals from north on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. We have organized a fan bus for those who want to attend the game and cheer on the Cats. The bus will depart from in front of the McKale Center on Enke Dr. at 4:30 p.m. and return to Tucson immediately following the game. The cost is only $20 for transportation, a ticket to the game and an Arizona Basketball t-shirt. For questions or to make your reservation today, call 520-621-CATS (2287).
The athletics department, in conjunction with the UA Alumni Association, is promoting Alumni Days at various sports. If you are a UA alumnus, you can purchase a discounted ticket for a game on the Group Tickets page located on the arizonawildcats.com by entering the promotional codealumnidays2014 (tickets are not needed for Swimming and Diving or Tennis). Sometime during that game, we will ask all alumni of the University of Arizona to stand and be recognized. If you are also an alumni letterwinner of that sport, we will introduce you on the field or court. Here is a list of the upcoming Alumni Days:
With the recent wave of news articles discussing potential changes to the student-athlete compensation model, now is a good time to discuss some of the additional benefits student-athletes currently receive while participating in college athletics.
For those who are fortunate enough to receive a full scholarship, the university covers the student-athlete's tuition, fees, textbooks, housing and meals. All student-athletes, however, have access to additional benefits and support. Nonetheless, the university can provide additional financial support to all student-athletes through the Student Assistance Fund, which covers a wide variety of items including, but not limited to, transportation home, clothing, graduate school exam fees and emergency expenses. The athletics department also has a full staff of medical professionals and academic support to address the specific needs of student-athletes. Additionally, in conjunction with practice or competition, the university can provide entertainment to student-athletes. So, you can see how the benefits of being a student-athlete extend beyond just apparel and equipment.
In a few weeks, I’ll also be sharing how the university provides financial support for student-athletes who compete in international competition, such as the Olympics.
Gymnastics posted the fifth-highest score in program history (196.925) and came within .075 of upsetting No. 1-ranked Oklahoma last weekend … Track & Field’s Nick Ross earned USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week honors after breaking his week-old school record with a clearance of 7-7 in the high jump at the Cherry & Silver Invitational … Men’s Track & Field moved up to No. 8 in the national poll this week … Men’s Tennis posted a perfect 14-0 mark during two home matches last weekend … Women’s Tennis opened their spring season by blanking NAU 7-0.
Here is a look at this week’s Arizona Athletics events (Home events in BOLD). All times are listed as Mountain Standard Time. To purchase tickets for home events, click here. To access live stats from your desktop or mobile device, visit ArizonaLiveStats.com.
No Events Scheduled
All Day: Track & Field at Washington Invitational (at Seattle, Wash.)
12:00 p.m.: Men’s Tennis vs. Gonzaga (at Reffkin Tennis Center)
4:00 p.m.: Swimming & Diving vs. Texas
All Day: Track & Field at Washington Invitational (at Seattle, Wash.)
10:00 a.m.: Swimming & Diving vs. Texas
10:30 a.m.: Women’s Tennis vs. San Jose St.
4:00 p.m.: Gymnastics vs. Washington (Live Stream)
9:00 a.m.: Women’s Tennis vs. New Mexico St.
11:00 a.m.: Men’s Tennis vs. Boise St. (at Reffkin Tennis Center)
1:00 p.m.: Women’s Tennis vs. San Francisco
No Events Scheduled
No Events Scheduled
WEAR THE COLORS – SHARE THE PHOTOS
NOTE: When submitting photos for Wildcat Wednesday, please ensure they are clear and properly lit. Also, please make sure to identify everyone in the photo so we can highlight them accordingly. Thanks for your help.
|Continue to do what you can to help Arizona Athletics and:
1. Join the Wildcat Movement
2. Buy Season Tickets
3. Wear the Colors (Especially on Friday)
4. Get Others to do the Same
Bear Down with Pride,
Vice President for Athletics
The University of Arizona